It is a very strange time to be a Sixers fan. Especially if you’ve been following the team for the last five or so years. Every bone in your body is telling y-… sorry, bad example. Let’s not mention bones. Every ounce of your being is telling you this is it, the moment you’ve waited for through the tough times, the moment when years of being crappy and watching grainy cell phone footage of inactive players playing one-on-one against 5’8 trainers in an empty gym will feel like buying in early on a hot stock instead of just torturing yourself. Things are, relatively speaking, pretty great.
You should feel pretty great.
And you do, for the most part. It’s all very exciting. The team has the last two number one picks making their debut at positions of need. Dario Saric probably should have been Rookie of the Year and he’s now the sixth man. Joel Embiid came back after half a year off and promptly looked like the two-part-potential-superstar, one-part-pre-Hollywood-People’s-Champ The Rock burgeoning superstar he did in limited action last season. It’s good. It’s beyond good. Again, it is great. Everything is great.
But, like, what if it isn’t?
And that, as they say, is the rub. The unknown of it all. Every team in every sport deals with it to some degree heading into a new season, when everyone in the league is 0-0 and technically still has the same chance of winning a title. But the swings in potential outcomes for the Sixers this season are ridiculously extreme. So much can go right, and the pieces are in place for it to happen, finally. But so very much can go wrong, too.